These staples of the hair care category have evolved over time from purely utilitarian to niche- and need-driven. Today’s formulations promise to mend and enhance through a range of beneficial ingredients, and formulators are parlaying trends from elsewhere in beauty—think anti-aging, the microbiome and CBD—into their shampoos, conditioners and treatments.
In addition, hair care retail—like all retail—is evolving. No longer relegated to the local brick and mortar drug store, beauty supply outlet or salon, today’s shoppers peruse Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, restock supplies straight from Amazon or pick up products from direct-to-consumer brands, including Jeunesse Global and SeneGence International, both of which entered the hair care market this year.
Jeunesse’s chief visionary officer Scott Lewis likes his company’s prospects in this new category.
“The global hair care market represents an area of growth, with sales anticipated to increase by nearly 20% by 2020. Significant market potential coupled with innovative, exclusive and science-based formulas are key factors we look for when deciding to bring additional products to market,” he said.
Developed by board-certified dermatologist and plastic surgeon Dr. Nathan Newman and utilizing the company’s exclusive HPT-6 polypeptide that combines amino acids and glycoproteins, Jeunesse’s new RVL Advanced Hair Care System features RVL Ultra Refining Shampoo, RVL Scalp Infusion Treatment and RVL Multi-perfecting Leave-in Conditioner. Designed for all hair types (including color-treated), and free from parabens, sulfates, silicones and dyes, the line also features unique packaging; Juenesse’s Scalp Infusion Treatment has a plunger applicator which eliminates possible product contamination, according to the Lake Mary, FL-based firm.
Best known for its lipcolor, SeneGence International is also pushing into the hair care sector with SeneGence HairCovery, a collection that includes shampoo, conditioner and serum that work together to revive dull, lifeless hair. The range is fueled by proprietary ingredients and peptides, SenePlex+ and SenePeptide Complex, which, when combined with botanicals and vitamins, enhance hair’s thickness, volume, moisture, manageability and shine, according to the company.
Direct seller Monat continues to expand its expertise in hair care, too. In August, the company rolled out Advanced Hydrating System, including shampoo and conditioner formulated with Rejuveniqe S and PatcH20. Rejuveniqe S is billed as a proprietary activated oil that delivers enhanced hydration to the hair and scalp that combines Rejuvniqe’s 13+ botanical oils and extracts with a patented, activated oil fraction derived from olive oil and jojoba seed extract. PatcH2O is a natural hyaluronic acid-based technology that fights dehydration and protects against water loss, according to the company. More recently, Monat unveiled its Restructuring Hair Care Collection, which helps to heal very dry, brittle or over-processed hair from the inside out, reversing the signs of hair damage caused by harsh chemical treatments, restoring hair to a healthy state and protecting it from further breakage. In addition to Rejuveniqe S, this line is also formulated with Fiber Rescue, which is described as a hydrolyzed plant lipoprotein technology that reconstructs every strand of hair from root to tip.
SKUs in the Restructuring line include a Restructuring Pre-Wash Conditioner; Restructuring Shampoo; and Inner Force Restructuring Serum, a daily, dual chamber serum that penetrates the cuticle to moisturize and nurture the hair and scalp.
“Over processed, damaged hair was the single largest gap in our line,” said Stuart MacMillan, president of Monat, which uses feedback from its growing distributor and customer base to help guide its R&D efforts. MacMillan said his company also relies on existing relationships with key suppliers that can deliver unique components.
Another new player in the hair care space is RevitaLash Cosmetics, which has been successful in a similar sector—lashes and eye brows.
“Hair care products with a purpose are a seamless fit into our existing lash and brow portfolio,” noted Dr. Michael Brinkenhoff, founder and CEO. “We were devoted to finding the very best way to deliver the results that we see with our existing products to the fine and thinning hair category to instill and inspire confidence.”
Revitalash’s Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner feature ingredients to optimize scalp health while cleansing and hydrating properties transform hair to feel fuller, look thicker and improve overall health of the strands. The company’s Hair Volume Enhancing Foam features its proprietary BioPeptin Complex, which can be found in RevitaLash’s Advanced Eyelash Conditioner. According to Revitalash, in a consumer study, 94% of respondents experienced healthier, fuller-looking hair after just eight weeks.
Mass market and salon brands are tackling hair care issues head on, too. Brands are expanding their ranges, exploring new ingredients and building formulations to better serve the individual needs of their customers.
The Mane Choice, for example, has teamed up with Sally Beauty for the exclusive launch of a new hair care line specifically designed for afro-textured hair. The six new products in the Do It Fro the Culture Collection include a shampoo that is formulated with black charcoal and black cumin to eliminate toxins beyond surface level, allowing nutrients and moisture to penetrate more effectively and encouraging true texture to blossom. A conditioner is said to lock in moisture while absorbing impurities.
Salon player Pravana has created a new regimen around one of its best-selling leave-in products. The new Intense Therapy Lightweight Healing Regimen (shampoo, conditioner and masque) is clinically proven to reduce breakage by as much as 98% through a lightweight formula that is reportedly ideal for a full spectrum of hair types damaged by over washing, frequent heat styling, towel-drying and more. Key ingredients include malachite, Egyptian blue lotus and keratin amino acids that mitigate free radicals and replenish lost proteins in the hair to aid healing and more. In addition, a low pH balance allows the cuticle to be lowered and help retain much-needed moisture, according to the company.
Abba, Pompano Beach, FL, is also focused on repair with its new Recovery Treatment Conditioner, a formulation infused with natural-based peppermint, rapeseed and lavender oil botanicals to drench dry, weak, damaged, chemically-treated hair with hydration. It also includes the brand’s exclusive ProQuinoa Complex, which contains hydrolyzed quinoa, barley and soy proteins.
When beauty professionals perform an in-salon color or texture service, Abba suggests pairing its Recovery Treatment Conditioner formula with its Detox Shampoo, a formulation that preps the hair for chemical services by removing buildup, opening the cuticle and resetting the hair so it easily accepts color or texture. The Recovery Treatment Conditioner then closes the cuticle down and helps it recover.
Stylists who spend years behind the chair gain valuable experience from their time with clients—and in turn, can help marketers formulate better products. Celebrity stylist David Babaii has transferred his years of knowledge and expertise into a new role at n:p beautiful. As its new chief global creative director, Babaii has tapped into plant-based proteins for a new patent-pending line of products that include three pairs of shampoo and conditioner (Hydrating, Smoothing and Volume), treatments and tools that are stocked at Nordstrom and online.
Bumble and bumble, another brand born in the salon, has updated its Bb.Thickening Collection. In addition to adding two products (a treatment and blow dry crème) the company reformulated the Bb. Thickening Volume Conditioner. The entire range is available via the brand’s website as well as inside Bumble and bumble New York City salons, Bb Network Salons, Sephora, Space NK, Bluemercury and select Bloomingdale’s doors.
Looking to make a splash with a specific ingredient that’s garnering attention in beauty is Emera CBD Haircare, a new professional brand founded by Earthly Body, a hemp beauty brand. Company officials contend Emera CBD is the first prestige hair care line to harness the benefits of 100% organic cannabidiol (CBD) oil from sustainable, harvested, non-GMO industrial hemp plants.
According to Jun Amarao, Emera’s chemist at Botanical Labs, tapping into the benefits of CBD “seemed the perfect opportunity to bring a new, revolutionary ingredient to the hair care industry,” he said.
According Chatsworth, CA-based Emera, its CBD hemp oil-infused hair care products are said to work synergistically with the body’s endocannabinoid system to deliver maximum moisture retention, improve the appearance of fuller, thicker hair, promote healthy hair and scalp, and provide an extra layer of protection against every day wear-and-tear. In addition to formulas being based on an exclusive blend of antioxidant-rich CBD, hemp seed and avocado oils, each product is enriched with botanical extracts that nourish, soothe and protect hair and scalp.
According to Amarao, CBD oil contains “all 21 known amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. It’s also high in essential fatty acids such as omegas 3, 6 and 9. And, it’s highly antioxidant-rich and full of vitamins, ranging from A, B, C, D, and E, just to name a few. CBD oil’s nutrients help build up collagen and elastin, which are essential to hair strength, and prevention of breakage. The essential fatty acids help to prevent moisture loss and keep hair well hydrated. It also has an amino acid called tyrosine which helps to maintain hair color.”
He also pointed out more benefits: CBD oil, he said, increases the diameter of each hair shaft, giving the appearance of thicker, fuller hair, and the calming benefits can sooth the scalp and restore balance and encourage healthy hair growth.
Emera’s range includes leave-in products, such as nourishing scalp therapy treatment, plus shampoo and conditioner. But will customers see the benefits of CBD in rinse-off products like shampoo and conditioner?
Amarao says yes.
“Emera’s Nourishing CBD Shampoo is sulfate-free, gentle and non-stripping, allowing the vital nutrients in the CBD oil, including amino acids, proteins and vitamins, to penetrate and attach to the cortex of each hair strand, delivering key benefits despite being a rinse-out product. Similarly, the amino acids, vitamins and proteins from CBD oil that are in Emera’s Nourishing CBD Conditioner, form a complex with the quaternaries, attaching to the hair shaft and delivering many benefits, including hydration, strength, combability and shine,” he said.
Attributes like hydration, strength and shine are just a few of the must-have callouts brands need if they want to win share in hair care.
In 2019, Dove is going deeper into these zones with its new Dove UltraCare Conditioners line, its first customized conditioner series. This wide range of conditioners, formulated with Micro-Conditioning Complex, include Dove UltraCare Weightless + Volume Foam Conditioner, Dove UltraCare Weighltess + Moisture Foam Conditioner, Dove UltraCare Balance + Repair Milk Gel Conditioner, Dove UltraCare Balance + Moisture Milk Gel Conditioner, Dove UltraCare Concentrated + Repair Crème Conditioner, and Dove UltraCare Concentrated + Moisture Crème Conditioner.
Dove is also going big in another hot area of hair care: dry shampoos. The Unilever powerhouse brand is set to roll out the Dove Care Between Washes collection, which includes several dry shampoos—Foam, Invisible, Ultra Clean and Volume & Fullness—as well as rehydrating mist and restyling milk. The range will hit mass market stores in January at price points between $4.99 and $5.99.
Other high-profile players have rolled out new cleansers for consumers who forgo traditional wet washing methods either by choice or necessity. In prestige beauty specifically, dry shampoo sales rose 16% in the third quarter of 2018, according to NPD Group.
Design.Me, for example, has added Dry Shampoo Blonde Spray and Dry Shampoo Brunette Spray, which provide consumers with hair color specific options, as well as a Dry Shampoo Foam, which the brand contends can be used repeatedly two to four days post-blowout.
Redken’s R&D team has developed two new dry shampoo SKUs: Dry Shampoo Paste 05, billed as its first dry shampoo and styling paste hybrid, and Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02, which is described as “dry shampoo in a lifting powder.” The latter contains charcoal, according to Redken, which is stocking these new products at Redken salons, Ulta, Beauty Brands, JCPenney, and lookfantasic.com.
One of the companies that helped put dry cleansing on the map, Unwash, has been busy in the lab, too.
The indie brand company rolled out eight new treatment and cleansing products: Curls Dry Cleanser freshens, preserves and enhances curls between washes; Color Care Dry Cleanser refreshes hair by absorbing oil with a residue-free formula that protects, enhances, and preserves color; and Volumizing Foam Cleanser gives fine hair extra volume and refresh between washes.
“It’s been two years since we launched our Dry Cleanser and since then we have been continuing down the path of rethinking clean and coming up with new ways to think about hair care. It is important to us that Unwash products are of the best formulations with high quality ingredients to preform like luxury products at an affordable price,” said Brandon Schwartz, founder.
Unwash’s expansion also includes products such as an Overnight Hair Masque that repairs damage, hydrates and protects color; Anti-Frizz Spray Serum, described as a weightless dry oil that conditions, hydrates, adds shine and makes hair soft and more manageable; and Balancing Scalp Serum, a lightweight treatment to help address scalp woes as it re-balances the scalp’s microbiome with prebiotics and probiotics.
“The all-around hero for Unwash and our new collection is lactobacillus ferment lysate, which is our way of breaking into the Microbiome category with products that can offer up ‘food’ to stimulate a healthy microbiome,” Schwartz told Happi.
Expanding the company’s stable will help keep Unwash loyalists in the brand.
“We’ve seen that our audience is still looking for alternatives to shampoo, especially for an on-the-go lifestyle, and want dual product usage, so styling benefits just made sense,” Schwartz concluded.
Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, Inc.
• Amisafe LL-DS-22
INCI: Disodium sebacoyl bis-lauramidolysine, water
Applications: Shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment
Use levels: 0.1-0.5 wt%
Attributes: AmisafeLL-DS-22 is an amino acid-based texture modifier. It is a water-soluble active. It acts as a foam booster and imparts silky smoothness to hair. It helps reduce the hair drying time by 30% and hence helps prevent hair damage caused by hair dryers.
• Prodew 500
INCI: Sodium PCA, sodium lactate, arginine, aspartic acid, PCA, glycine, alanine, serine, valine, proline, threonine, isoleucine, histidine, phenylalanine, water
Applications: Shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment
Use levels: 1.0-5.0 wt%
Attributes: Prodew 500 is a paraben-free amino acid blend that has excellent properties for hair care formulations. It is formulated to mimic the hair’s CMC and brings benefits such as moisturizing, strengthening, color-protection and repair of hair surface damage.
• Amisafe LMA-60
INCI: Hydroxypropyl arginine lauryl/myristyl ether HCl, alcohol, water
Applications: Shampoo, conditioner and hair treatment
Use levels: 0.5-3.0 wt%
Attributes: Amisafe LMA-60 is an amphoteric hair conditioning active derived from L-arginine. Amisafe LMA-60 exhibits a high degree of biodegradability, is environmentally friendly, and mild. It has excellent moisturizing and hair color protection properties. It makes hair smooth while improving the strength of damaged hair. It suppresses static and improves the manageability of hair.
Brenntag Specialties, Inc.
• KANEKA Surfactin Powder
INCI: Sodium Surfactin
Applications: Treatments | Use levels: 0.5-2%
Attributes: A highly sustainable product that is powerful yet mild. This surfactant can be used at low dosages and is unlike your typical surfactant. Kaneka Surfactin works with cationics and can create emulsions and clear gel like micro emulsions. Made by fermentation, 100% natural, easily biodegradable makes it a great functional green product. Brenntag is the distribution source for Kaneka.
INCI: Water (and) polyquaternium-7 (and) panthenol (and) fibroin (and) sericin (and) hydroxypropyl starch phosphate
Applications: Leave-on | Use levels: 2%
Attributes: The results showed that the ThermoShield can prevent and reduce damage that thermal treatments cause in the hair fibers, reducing the temperature of the hair fibers, preserving the water content and preserving the cuticular structure of the hair after exposure to thermal treatment without compromising hair styling.
INCI: Water (and) galactoarabinan (and) salvia hispanica seed extract (and) glycerin (and) trehalose (and) xylitol (and) panthenol (and) camellia sinensis leaf extract (and) sodium phosphate
Applications: Shampoo, Conditioner, Leave-ons | Use levels: 2%
Attributes: Polluout reduces the adhesion of pollutant particles by 17%. It was found that it provided brighteness protection by 20%, increases combability by 62%, and strengthens hair strands by 42%.
• Sensoveil Sil
INCI: Orbignya speciosa kernel oil (and) hydrogenated soybean oil (and) cocos nucifera (coconut) oil (and) linum usitatissimum (linseed) seed oil
Applications: Conditioners, leave-ons, hair masks | Use levels: 3-3.5%
Attributes: Sensoveil Sil provides silicione performance through natural nutrition for hair. This product offers excellent combability after rinsing while reducing frizz after drying. By creating a natural barrier, hair cuticles are sealed and the hair is conditioned and feels softer.
• ESTERLAC Care+
INCI: Sodium isostearoyl lactylate
Applications: shampoo, conditioner
Use levels: 1-5%
Attributes: Silicones make the hair look healthy and shiny, but can build up on the hair shaft, giving a dull and greasy look over time. Using Esterlac Care+ you can get healthy, non-greasy hair in a natural way!
• ESTERLAC Perform
INCI: Sodium behenoyl lactylate
Use levels: 1-5%
• ESTERLAC Smooth
INCI: Glycerol mono stearate
Attributes: The Esterlac emulsifier product range will bring your formulations enhanced stability, excellent pick-up and rub-out, and enhanced delivery of actives from a natural emulsifier. At the same time it can allow you to lower polymer usage and wider pH ranges of formulas to accommodate paraben free solutions.
Evonik Nutrition and Care GmbH
INCI: Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil; ricinus communis (castor) seed oil; ceramide NG
Applications: Treatment. Use levels: 1%
Attributes: An irritated scalp is often a precursor for negative hair quality. Constructed using an olive-based ceramide, HairFlux improves hair and scalp, even at low use levels. It strengthens and helps repair damaged hair, improves the conditions of dry, itching scalp and is effective on various hair types.
• ABIL Quat 3676
INCI: Quaternium-80; dipropylene glycol
Use levels: 0.2-2.0%
Attributes: Abil Quat 3767 is a high-molecular weight silicone quat enabling pronounced substantivity to the hair. It provides improved combability, heat protecting properties, and a pleasant and non-greasy after feel to the hair. It is mainly suitable for emulsion-type hair conditioners, conditioning rinses and masks.
Applications: Shampoo and conditioner
Use levels: 3-5%
Attributes: Erylite erythritol is the first sugar alcohol manufactured using a fermentation-based process, making it an interesting ingredient for “natural” products. Erylite has demonstrated many benefits when utilized in hair care formulations. These effects range from improved combability and reduced frizz to scalp hydration and improved shampoo performance with increased foamability.
Kobo Products, Inc.
• Plandool LG4
INCI: Phytosteryl/behenyl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate
Use levels: 2-5%
Attributes: Carries the potential for forming lamellar liquid crystals, a technology that can retain water and improve skin or hair barrier function. Good for use in hair conditioners or after shampoo treatments. Provides non-greasy body and gloss to hair, especially good for fine hair.
• K-Ray Special Effect Pearlescent Pigments
INCI: Natural mica, synthetic fluorphlogopite or calcium aluminum borosilicate (substrates), titanium dioxide and/or colorant (coatings).
Applications: conditioners | Use levels: 1-10%. Attributes: K-Ray Pearls offer vibrant sheen and sparkle for colored hair masks and clays. Available in white, interference and many vibrant colors and particle sizes which can impart depth, dimension, sheen and sparkle.